The government adopted a policy document on public spending in the Council of Ministers on June 5. The state budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

Normally, this budget should have been tabled in Parliament on June 30 … 2019. This was not the case.

This budgetary framework arrived late. But it has the great merit of existing. We can look at it and understand the government’s priorities. Or guess them. Analyze or denounce them. Without a budget this was not possible. The budget is a step in the right direction.

It should be recalled that the last time the Haitian government, through Prime Minister Jean-Henry Céantand Minister of Economy and Finance Ronald December, in January 2019, tabled a budget before parliamentarians, the document had been returned with an ill-advised letter from the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Gary Bodeau. 

The government had failed to comply with statutory requirements and was already more than six months behind schedule in launching the budget-making process at the time.

In order not to be rebuffed a second time, no finance law was passed on to Parliament until the disappearance of the 50th Legislature in the lost pages of history.

After months of broken promises and real delays, it was therefore on June 5, 2020 that the government, all alone, without consulting any sector and without the prospect of seeing the document sanctioned by another power, “cut and chopped” to present a text that will act as finance law as soon as published in Le Moniteur, the official journal.

This budget is for Covid-19. It was able to be finalized thanks to the pandemic which brought back to the table of promises the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and all the donors. The disease also forced the state to incur extraordinary expenses which had to be brought into a legal framework. The other aligned figures go in the same direction. Decreasing or increasing, the amounts regularize inherited, existing or temporary situations. Continue reading.

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